CATHLAMET, Wash. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to know how wetland restoration efforts are benefiting juvenile salmon as they feed in the mouth of the Columbia River on their way to the Pacific Ocean.

Trying to answer that question are multiple field teams working under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“I think, in part, we’re spending a lot of money on restoring wetlands, and there’s some controversy in that, because it’s not cheap,” said Kurt Fresh, the principal investigator in the migration study and head of the estuarine and ocean ecology program in the National Marine Fisheries Science Center, part of NOAA. “And there’s a question of how effective all this work is. Are we getting the benefits people think we are?”

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